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Mobile App Development in Qt: Pros, Cons, and Use Cases

According to Statista, in 2020, mobile app revenue is expected to reach $581.9 billion.

Source: statista.com

In addition to huge mobile app revenues, mobile apps may provide companies with a number of benefits, such as strengthened customer engagement, increased brand awareness, and much more.

However, to develop a successful application that will bring benefits to a business, it is important to select the relevant mobile development technology stack.

The Qt framework is one of those technologies that help companies around the world get valuable mobile apps. Let’s discuss in brief the pros and cons of mobile app development in Qt and cover the use cases.

What Is Qt?

Qt is a cross-platform app development framework for mobile, desktop, and embedded applications. Qt supports such platforms as Android and iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Linux, OS X, and many others.

Qt is used by such brands as AMD, Autodesk, European Space Agency, Lucasfilm, Siemens, Valve, and Telegram. Some elements of Qt may be found in such mobile apps and systems as Skype, Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Mobile, and more.

Why Qt Development Is Worth Consideration

Let’s see why companies choose Qt for mobile app development.

Qt is Mature

Companies have been using Qt as a software development framework for more than 20 years. Over these years, the framework has been improved many times.

Qt was used in different industries and tested under various conditions which means that it provides stability that cannot be expected from any young frameworks. Among other things, Qt was improved to be faster and easier to use.

High performance is listed among the main characteristics of Qt on StackShare. (Source: stackshare.io)

Also, some developers note that the QT framework has such advantages as development simplicity and speed.

Qt Is Open Source

The open-source nature of specific technologies helps to make them more efficient and reliable, and Qt is no exception. Besides The Qt Company, that is the main developer of Qt, many other contributors took part in the development of the framework.

For instance, KDAB, a Swedish Qt consulting company, helped to improve some elements of the framework. These and other improvements in the framework have helped to make the framework more secure and ease the work for software developers.

Qt Is Cross-Platform

Qt covers a wide range of operating systems and platforms and may bring many opportunities to companies. Qt is a good choice for businesses that want to build software for several platforms or target both Android and iOS users.

The Qt framework offers many modules for different platforms. (Source: doc.qt.io)

Managing a cross-platform development process that is based on Qt may also be useful because developers can easily share data and libraries, as well as reuse the code, which can positively affect the speed and cost of development.

Qt Provides Developers and Clients with the Advantages of C++

Since the Qt framework is based on the C++ programming language it provides some benefits of C++ that may positively affect Qt development:

  • Such features of C++ as polymorphism, inheritance, encapsulation, and classes make apps more reliable and allow developers to reuse the code.
  • By using С++ developers can effectively create both small-scale mobile apps and complex resource-intensive programs.
  • C++ has a huge community, therefore, developers can always get advice, which can reduce risks and development time.

According to the TIOBE rating, C++ is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. (Source: tiobe.com)

Despite the fact that usually Qt-based mobile apps are written in C++ and QML (Qt Modeling Language), there are also bindings to other languages. Also, one of the Qt modules provides integration between QML and JavaScript.

If for some reason JavaScript doesn’t fully suit an app based on Qt, engineers can always rewrite parts of the code using C++. In this way, developers can even take a combined approach to cross-platform development.

Despite all the advantages of developing Qt-based software the framework still has some drawbacks.

For instance, similar to C++, Qt-based cross-platform development requires extensive expertise, so companies may have difficulties in finding an experienced development team. Also, some platforms may not support every feature required for your project, which may cause additional difficulties.

Cases Where Qt May Be a Good Option

Firstly, companies should consider Qt cross-platform development if they don’t have enough resources for hiring and managing two separate teams. Instead, they may hire one team that is able to create a multi-platform product with a single code basis.

Secondly, if a company has a desktop app written in C++ and wants to port it to mobile, for example, to Android devices, Qt may be a good option.

Also, creating Android and iOS mobile apps using different frameworks can cause specific problems and make developers do a lot of unnecessary work. That is why companies should consider Qt cross-platform development if they want to reduce costs and be able to reuse the code.

One way or another, Qt development may be a good choice for a range of scenarios. Still, when choosing a framework, it is important to consider the needs of the specific company and its project.

If you want to know more about Qt development or if you want to hire professional Qt developers, please feel free to contact us. Our experts will provide you with a free consultation and advise on the worthiness of using the Qt framework for your project.

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